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Hate crimes in Portugal increase by 38% in 2023

Total number registered: 347; majority of hate crimes in non-urban areas

The number of hate crimes in Portugal increased by 38% last year, compared to 2022, according to data collected by Lusa from PSP and GNR police.

In total, the two police forces recorded 347 crimes of discrimination and incitement to hatred in 2023 – 77 more cases than in the previous year, an increase that is most evident in the area under GNR jurisdiction (meaning non-urban settings).

In the PSP area (towns and cities), the number of crimes of discrimination and incitement to hatred and violence rose from 201 in 2022 to 231 in 2023 (meaning a 15% increase).

In the GNR’s area, the number of crimes against cultural identity and personal integrity, the framework for hate crime, rose from 69 records in 2022 to 116 in 2023 (in other words, 68% more hate crimes).

According to the GNR, Portugal “does not have a legal definition of hate crimes”, but article 240 of the Penal Code “penalizes discrimination and incitement to hatred and violence, with a prison sentence for these criminal offences”.

Equally, homicide and physical harm are now classified as crimes in cases of “racial, religious, political hatred and/ or hatred generated by the victim’s colour, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation and/ or gender identity”.

Among the cases that can be classified as hate crimes are “crimes against cultural identity and personal integrity”, namely “crimes of racial and religious discrimination, torture and other cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment, and other crimes against cultural identity and personal integrity”, adds the GNR.

The force has also pointed out that this type of crime is “particularly complex” and that it is not always possible to classify because “there is no specific computer processing” for it.

LUSA